Take the wheel

“To get a better understanding of your portfolio,” my financial advisor began, “I want you to write down everything you spend monthly on your current home and cabin in Tahoe. Then, we’ll dig deeper into your personal affairs.”

“Ok, so just what I spend on my houses?” I asked. “You don’t care about hair, manicures, facials and massages for now, right?”

Hearing a pause on the other end, he let out a long sigh, and said, “Right. We’ll tackle those later and where you can cut […]

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    Los Altos writer learns heartfelt love in caring for parents

Los Altos writer learns heartfelt love in caring for parents

Los Altos writer learns heartfelt love in caring for parents

Published on Monday, 20 July 2015 01:05
Written by Alicia Castro – Staff Writer/aliciac@latc.com

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Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos resident and author Jackie Madden Haugh, above, chronicles small but significant life moments.

According to Sufi mysticism, the souls of children look down and pick their mothers for the lessons they’ll teach in life.

Jackie Madden Haugh would add that souls pick their fathers, too.

“I’ve always loved […]

Unanswered Prayers

 “Now I lay me down to sleep. Bless mommy and daddy. Make my brothers stop pestering me, and God, please, please, please don’t let Elvis Presley marry anyone until I grow up!”

In 1960, at eight-years-old, my first true love was the “King” himself. This intense infatuation inspired my initial experiences in negotiating with the Almighty. “Dear God,” I’d pray. “I promise to be a good girl for the rest of my life if You grant me this one wish…” Even though those prayers fell […]

Truly Unconditional Love

For the fourth week in a row, the piercing ring of the telephone disturbed my mother’s mid-day quiet in September 1960. Slowly picking up the receiver, she held her breath and hoped it was just a wrong number.

“Mrs. Madden,” Sister Mary sneered. “Jackie will be spending the afternoon in detention—again.”

Chanting a mea culpa, my mom sought pardon for her eight-year-old daughter. As she was about to promise the black-frocked warden that I’d be dully crucified at home, the angry nun steamed, “Doesn’t she ever […]

A Precious Gift

“Hi, Father Warwick!” I sang, tapping his shoulder from behind. I was attending the St. Simon Parish Barbeque in September 2012, an event I hadn’t participated in for over twelve years.

Beaming from ear-to-ear with his welcoming smile, the pastor hugged me tightly. Then, his grin turned to a quizzical look as if something was out of place. “What are you doing here?” he asked.

Stunned, I wondered why he would say such a thing. After all, I’d been a member of this lovely parish for […]

It’s Called Faith

Since my daddy moved in with me two months ago, the most important TV station in his world has been channel 229 – the Catholic channel.

Because Macular Degeneration has taken away his vision, he can no longer see clearly. This means he cannot do the one thing he loves most, to read. The stories on Channel 229, plus the masses and rosaries spoken out loud, bring him a source of comfort that has never abandoned him— his Catholic religion.

“I think it’s time for mass,” […]